4: Speech excerpt, Solomon Mikhoels, from the first rally of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, 1941.
The first official activity undertaken by the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee was to organize a rally with speeches given by many of the prominent members of the committee, including Markish and Mikhoels. The rally was broadcast over radio, as one of the primary audiences was international, especially American Jews and Jews in the UK. Similar to Fefer’s poem “I am a Jew,” the speeches demonstrate the kind of appeal to a worldwide Jewish nation that was condoned during the war and deemed criminal afterward. The very phrase translated here as “fellow Jews” was discussed in the trial as irredeemably nationalist.
Suggested Activity: Ask students to identify the different audiences or constituencies that Mikhoels appeals to. What does he commend about each group and what does he ask of them?
Source: From: War, Holocaust and Stalinism: A Documented Study of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the USSR, Shimon Redlich, Copyright (c) 1995 Harwood Academic Publishers, reproduced by permission of Taylor & Francis Books UK.